In 2014 Craig Harris was commissioned by the dance theater company Off-Leash Area to create and produce the music and sound design for their annual fall tour. This popular project brings live dance theater out into the community to audiences that don’t often have opportunities to experience new work by professional companies. They create a new show every two years, produce the show in 7 locations (21 performances) during the tour, and repeat the show in the second year’s tour.
The show’s two characters – Stripe and Spot (Paul Herwig and Taous Khazem) – are simultaneously shipwrecked on opposite sides of a deserted island. Believing they are the sole inhabitants, they use their resourcefulness to survive and eventually thrive. While building their fiefdoms on a grander and grander scale, they finally meet on top of a mountain, and a ridiculous battle for dominance of the island erupts. After the dust settles, with the island in ruins and all hope lost, they choose to learn to live together and with their combined efforts make the entire island a better place.
Narrated by the Sun and the Moon (Jesse Schmitz-Boyd and Jennifer Ilse), and full of Off-Leash Area’s visual creativity, this all-ages production features a rotating stage, vaudevillian dance numbers, and silent film melodrama, with choreography by Jennifer Ilse, music and sound design by Craig Harris, and text by playwright Dominic Orlando, and costumes by Kym Longhi.
Here is a 4-minute sampler of Stripe and Spot (Learn to) Get Along:
Here is a more extended 10-minute sampler of Stripe and Spot (Learn to) Get Along:
Video documentation was provided by Steven Campbell. Still shot images are taken from the video.
About Off-Leash Area
Off-Leash Area was founded in Minneapolis in 1999 and creates original interdisciplinary performance work. Named after the public parks where dogs run untethered, OLA’s creative approach is likewise playful, crosses boundaries, and takes risks. The company is led by co-artistic directors Paul Herwig, visual and theater artist, and Jennifer Ilse, dance artist. In its 15 years OLA has created over 21 original evening-length performance works, many short-form works, taught classes in Inverted Dance, workshops in Performance & Scenic Design, been commissioned by Walker Art Center, the O’Shaughnessey, and collaborated with an ever growing community of the Twin Cities’ most exciting performance makers.